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Lawmakers push for Nigeria to return to old national anthem

The lawmakers agreed that the national anthem should be changed to accurately represent the nation's democratic principles, integrity, and commitment to nationhood.

The House of Senate [Facebook]

Sponsored by Senate Leader Opeyemi Bamidele, the bill has garnered widespread support among lawmakers.

According to Channels TV, it has now been assigned to the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters, which is expected to report back within two weeks.

Lawmakers, who seemed united in their support, argued that the old anthem would be a more potent symbol of unity, peace, and prosperity than the current one.

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Following an indoor meeting to discuss the bill, lawmakers argued that the existing national anthem, which a military government imposed, should be replaced to reflect better the nation's democratic values, integrity, and dedication to nationhood.

The previous anthem, "Nigeria, We Hail Thee," was substituted with the current "Arise, O Compatriots" in 1978.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives also passed the bill to revert to the old national anthem.

The bill was quickly passed through the first, second and third readings at the lower chamber within minutes.

The Minority Leader, Kingsley Chinda, opposed the bill, arguing that the old anthem carried colonial connotations, which led to the creation of the new anthem.

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He pointed out that the old anthem was written and composed by Britons and questioned the necessity of changing the anthem amidst more pressing issues facing the country.

Despite his objections, the lawmakers quickly advanced and approved the bill.

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